IPBES Workshop in Ashgabat

IPBES workshop dedicated to the upcoming International Day of Biodiversity took place on May 16th in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan). The event was organized by CADI in order to support international cooperation for nature conservation in Central Asia.

Within the seminar, the goals, mechanisms and current results of the platform were presented as well as the benefits offered by the IPBES membership. Turkmenistan currently is one of the Observer States of the 132-country’s body.

The final discussion made it clear that Turkmenistan’s possible membership of the IPBES platform will allow experts from relevant government agencies, academic institutions, and NGOs to significantly increase their access to up-to-date regional scientific results on biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as the influence on the international agenda. The decision to join the IPBES platform should be made by the respective government.

Decision-makers from the governmental agencies, as well as representatives of scientific, non-governmental and International Organizations from Turkmenistan, took part at the event.

More about IPBES 

CADI expedition to South-Ustyurt completed

A CADI expedition to South Ustyurt, including Kaplankyr cliff (Mangystau region), took place from 18-29 April 2019. Aim of the expedition was to collect information on biodiversity and anthropogenic environmental influences.

The most significant discovery was the sighting of Kulan (Equus hemionus) since it had not been seen for decades. It was sighted on the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

On the 115 km expedition route, 119 goitered gazelles were spotted, which significantly surpasses the results of previous expeditions and underlines the significance of South Ustyurt as an important habitat for goitered gazelles.

The final report on this expedition will be presented in autumn 2019 when the last data from the camera traps set up in April will be collected. The results of the three expeditions should serve as a basis for the creation of a new protected area in South Ustyurt.

Taking part in the expedition were the project advisor, Ph.D. zoologist Mark Pestov, deputy head of the State Nature Reserve Ustyurt, Zhaskairat Nurmukhambetov, research associate of the Nature Reserve Aktan Mukhashov, member of the NGO “Koldau-Kazakhstan”, Nurlykhan Ismailov, and CADI project coordinator for Kazakhstan, Vladimir Terentiyev.

New publication on Caracal in Uzbekistan

Data on the occurrence, distribution and threats of Caracal (Caracal caracal), as threatened species (critically endangered) in Uzbekistan’s Red Data Book and in Appendix I of CITES were recently published in a peer-reviewed special issue of the Journal of Threatened Taxa. Up to now, more than 40,000 people around the world accessed the journal online.

CADI made it possible to conduct expeditions to collect many of the findings in the deserts of Uzbekistan and supported to raise and summarize the current state of knowledge about the threatened species. In the article, the author, Ms. Gritsina, concludes that the presence of remote and pristine desert habitats in Uzbekistan, such as parts of the southern Ustuyrt-Plateau or the Kyzylkum Desert, are the preconditions for the existence of that rare species to date. One of the biggest threats to the Caracal population are conflicts between shepherds and cats, as well as killings due to lack of knowledge about its stringent conservation status, as Ms. Gritsina points out in her article. It advocates for broad information campaigns, especially for the rural population, as well as an intensification of conservation efforts and the designation of protected areas in the deserts of Uzbekistan.


Seminar on SMART in Astana

11-20 March in Astana, ACBK conducted a workshop on SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) and its implementation in Kazakhstan. The seminar was attended by participants from protected areas, representatives from company OkhotZooProm, and ACBK. SMART experts Michiel Hoette and Igor Kolodin from Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) introduced the audience to the structure and objectives of SMART patrol monitoring system. During the seminar, the following topics were especially discussed in detail: data collection, data processing and data analyses, use of the SMART software, SMART-based patrol management.

CADI project supports the implementation of the SMART system in the State Nature Reserves Ustyurt and Barsakelmes.

Start of the photo contest „Desert in the focus “

With the photo contest starting today the CADI-project wants to attract attention to the aesthetic values of the cold winter desert, its use, threats, and protection.

The cold winter (also temperate) deserts, spreading from northern Iran across Central Asia to Mongolia, are an important migration area for birds and the last wild herds of ungulates. The enormous land masses deliver a broad range of ecosystem services. Also, for people living here for several generations, deserts have an important role.

Show us how important deserts are for you by entering the competition!

You can submit photos in two nominations:

  • Nature of desert
  • Desert and human

Timeline from March 14 till October 14, 2019

Checklist for entrants:

  • I’m of legal age.
  • Photos I want to submit were taken in cold-winter deserts of China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan.
  • Find more about terms and conditions.
  • Fill in the entry form.

The latest news about the Persian Leopard in Ustyurt

New pictures from camera traps, set up during the November CADI-expedition, verify: The Persian leopard is still living in the Ustyurt Nature Reserve and obviously is in good condition!

The CADI-team is preparing the grounds for putting the Persian leopard on the Red List of Threatened Species in Kazakhstan. In addition, it is developing an action plan for preservation of the leopard in Kazakhstan.

The planned measures to monitor and protect the leopard should not only save this amazingly beautiful and vulnerable species but also create conditions for the preservation of Ustyurt’s unique ecosystem.

In the footsteps of the Persian leopard – final expedition report

The final report of a ten-day Ustyurt expedition in November 2018, organized by ACBK along with the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan’s Forestry and Wildlife Committee, is available now. The aim of the expedition was to locate the Persian leopard, which has been recently captured using camera traps.

To provide permanent observation and to increase the probability of a new sighting, 18 camera traps were set up by the expedition team members, together with odour and fodder bait. The observations will last until end of January.

While the leopard could not be spotted yet, there were other interesting sightings: a caracal, as well as a Brandt’s hedgehog which would usually be hibernating at this time of year.

The expedition team has also found a young Urial female, probably torn apart by a leopard.

Final expedition report (in Russian)

Workshop on remote sensing in cold winter deserts in Uzbekistan

On 15-16 January 2019, a CADI workshop, dedicated to the determination of target parameters for the assessment of ecosystems of cold winter deserts, took place in Tashkent (Uzbekistan). The workshop was organized by the FAO Country Office in Tashkent in close cooperation with the State Committee on Forestry of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The outcome of the workshop was the definition of next steps to conduct an integrated inventory of deserts using GIS technology and the satellite-based tool Collect Earth. This tool allows a real-time inventory of land, mapping of various natural and socio-economic objects and the creation of a database for the planning of further activities towards sustainable use of cold winter deserts of Uzbekistan.

Members of the FAO Country Office in Tashkent, representatives of the State Forestry Committee, the Committee of Soil Resources, Geodesy, Cartography and State Cadastre of the Republic of Uzbekistan, scientific staff of the Samarkand Institute of Karakul Sheep Breeding and Desert Ecology, representatives of pilot sites in Bukhara and Navoi provinces; scientists from Karakul and Nurata as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations in Uzbekistan took part at the CADI-Workshop.

Ustyurt from above

Stunning drone-shots from CADI expedition to chink Kaplankyr and the southern part of Ustyurt-Plateau (Kazakhstan).

Video (mp4)

Green light for CADI in Turkmenistan

On the 7th of January, 2019, after more than two years of preparation, CADI got an official registration from the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan. Registration is a prerequisite for project implementation in the country.

The registration is based on the CADI project agreement between the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Environmental Protection and Land Resources and the Michael Succow Foundation. The agreement represents the latest step in the long-standing, fruitful cooperation between the two partners on a range of projects on nature conservation and resource management in Turkmenistan under a Memorandum of Understanding.

CADI intends to implement a broad work package that aims to preserve the biodiversity and ecosystem services of cold winter deserts in Turkmenistan. One of the main tasks is to prepare a nomination document for the inscription of the protected areas Repetek and Bereketli Garagum into the list of World Natural Heritage sites. In addition, within CADI scientific-technical justifications for the establishment, extension or IUCN status adjustment of a protected area in Turkmenistan will be prepared.

National partner for the implementation of CADI in Turkmenistan is the National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna (NIDFF).